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Archived - Department of National Defence Awards Contracts for the Mercury Global Project

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Today, the Department of National Defence awarded contracts to enhance the operational capability of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and global military satellite communications.

Two contracts have been awarded to General Dynamics Canada Ltd. (Ottawa, Ontario) for the Mercury Global project. The first contract is for the design-and-build of the Mercury Global anchor stations valued at $59.1 million. The second contract provides ongoing in-service support and is valued at $8.5 million.  

Building on the 2012 announcement of Canada’s contribution of $337.3 million as part of a Memorandum of Understanding, Canada is now entering the anchor segment of the Mercury Global project. The anchor stations will communicate with the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite constellation and link them to existing CAF communications infrastructure. Mercury Global will provide the CAF with assured access to wideband military satellite communications.  The CAF will ultimately have access to bandwidth from the nine satellite constellation and utilize three anchor sites located in Eastern, Central and Western Canada.

As stated in the Canada First Defence Strategy, the CAF must maintain their readiness to defend Canada and our interests at home and abroad, to the highest standards in order to deploy immediately at the request of the Government of Canada. The Mercury Global solution provides the most effective way of meeting this capability requirement for domestic and expeditionary operations.  

Quick Facts

  • The Mercury Global project is the name given to Canada’s participation in, and leverage of, the Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) system. WGS will provide high-capacity, assured and secure satellite access for communications that are vital to the Government of Canada. As costs are shared among seven partner nations, this program allows the CAF to economically meet its need for strategic satellite communications.
  • The Government of Canada is committed to the sound use of taxpayer dollars. To this end, the Government of Canada has entered into a cost-sharing program with its allies and has contributed to the building of a ninth satellite in the WGS constellation. The use of an international system will foster stronger partnerships with our allies.  
  • Canada joined the WGS system as part of an international partnership to develop a global military satellite communications capability that provides high-capacity wideband communications.  
  • This approach supports CAF requirements for future strategic satellite communications at an affordable and predictable price. Sharing costs with allies is a much more cost-effective option than building and maintaining a uniquely Canadian constellation.  This contribution allows Canada access to an entire satellite constellation - worth several billion dollars - and thus offers around-the-globe coverage


“The ability to rapidly exchange information in today’s modern military operations at home and abroad is critical to the mission of our Canadian Armed Forces. The Mercury Global project will lead to significant cost savings for the military, more efficient access to information for the troops on the ground, and  better in-theatre communication during periods of conflict.  It’s just one more indication of our Government’s commitment to providing our men and women in uniform with the equipment they need to get the job done.”

The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls and Minister of National Defence

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